10. Vision

CORe churches encourage young people to own the church’s vision and aims by including them in implementation and ongoing evaluation.

Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)


A church without vision does not know where it is going. Some churches have a clear vision and aims, but others do not. Often the elder members create the vision, and do not include the young in the process. A church's vision needs to be owned by all, implemented by all, and regularly evaluated by all.

CORe churches recognise the power of including young members in their vision and aims. They attempt to include young people in the development of vision, and in its implementation. They see the use of young people’s out-of-the-box thinking and acknowledge how important it is that they also own the church’s vision.

CORe churches know where they are going and know how they will achieve their mission.

CORe churches encourage young people to own the church’s vision and aims by including them in implementation and ongoing evaluation.

Thought

Tom de Bruin, The Netherlands

Our church is run on vision. The visions of the Old Testament prophets, foretelling the coming of Christ. The visions of the New Testament authors, showing us more about the end-time events. The visions of one of our founders, Ellen White, which still guide the church in various ways.

The Adventist church is a visionary church. A church that looks towards a future, that is wonderful. Yet at the same time Adventist churches are often not very good at creating a vision for their own mission. Our vision is so focussed on the wonderful future that we all await, that it’s hard to create a vision for the local church here and now.

The problem is that, without a good vision for here and now, we will be less effective in reaching every nation, people and tongue. This is not a recent development, Hebrews seems to discuss the same problem:

Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)


The day approaching is our ultimate vision. It was the ultimate vision of the Hebrews. But at the same time, we must consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds. In other words, we need to think how we can get every single member involved in loving others and in helping others. And when we consider that, we create vision.

Maybe your church has a vision statement, maybe not. If it doesn’t it may be time to get around to that. Maybe that’s where you should start.

If you church does have a vision statement, who knows about it? Who wrote it? Who was involved in it? How old it is? Is it still relevant? Did you include young people in writing it? Do young people help implement it? When did you last evaluate it, and did young people take part?

Ultimately, vision is meant to be shared by all members. It needs to be owned by all members. And the only way to do that is to constantly talk about it, constantly preach it, and constantly involve as many people as possible in implementing and evaluating it.

Discussion

  • Describe the nicest place you have ever visited?
  • Try to imagine your church (the community) in twenty years, what should be in the local news about your church?
  • You will spend the rest of the in future, how would you like you church to be?
  • Imagine your church did not exist, you were starting it now, how would it look?
  • What could young people contribute to the vision of the church?
  • Do you have a clear vision for the church?
  • When did you last evaluate your vision and aims?

Implementation questions

  • What do you already do to include young people in your vision and aims?
  • Are there elements of your church’s culture that need changing to let young people own your vision?
  • Can we implement at least 3 of the suggestions below?
  • What is achievable to include young people in your visions and aims within the next 12 months?

Suggestions for implementation

  • Have a 'Vision Sabbath' where you discuss the vision of the church in every age group.
  • Create a vision and mission statement, including the input of age groups.
  • Organise a multi-age group to implement a plan to make the vision known to the church.
  • Plan regular vision services where the the worship service is linked to the vision of the church.
  • Organise a multi-age group to evaluate the vision and mission statement.
  • Organise a day where everyone can express the vision through their personal gifts.

 

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